Sunday, 26 July 2015

Layout 10: Crafting Cafe July Challenge - Nature's Garden

This month it's all change at the Crafting Cafe - there's no blog, no sponsors and no digital images, so those of us on the design team have complete freedom to interpret each month's theme however we like. Which is nice :-)

For July the theme is "Nature's Garden", which I've interpreted as anything related to things that grow wild.  I'll be trying to make scrapbook pages for all my design team project now, and this month I chose a trip to collect conkers last year. If you'd like to come and join in the challenge, you can find out more at the Crafting Cafe Facebook group.

Here it is, I hope you like it!

Happy crafting

What I used:
Papers: Basic Grey Wassail "Noel" 12x12, unknown lime green spotty 12x12
Embellishments: Papermania Alphaminis "Fun Green" cardstock letters, Papermania ribbon
Tools: XCut nesting dies "Spiro", Purple Cows trimmer with zig-zag cutter, Zig Art & Graphic Twin pen TUT-80

Crafting notes:

  • I used spotty green paper and cut with zig-zag edges throughout to suggest the bumpy shells that conkers have.
  • Despite having what even I will admit is 'too much' paper, I could only find one sheet of spotty paper in my stash that matched the green lettering I chose for the title. Unfortunately I can't remember where I got it, so I've minimised the use by gutting the matting for the photos - in other words, I've made a frame, but stuck the photos on top instead of underneath.
  • I was really pleased to find the ribbon in my stash - conkery shapes and the blue of Bob's shirt to tie everything together :-)
  • To make the conker embellishment (or "Eye of Sauron" as my husband described it!) I cut a spiro circle in green, cut a segment out, then matted onto a white spiro circle and cut another, smaller, segment out of that. I then stuck a circle of the conker coloured paper to the back.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Layout 9: Bob's great frog rescue

I'd be lying if I said this has been a fun make overall. As often happens, I started with a clear picture of the basic idea, but then faltered as I tried to fill in the details. As a result, this page has been lurking on the Pile Of Shame on the edge of my desk for 11 months. There have been long periods in that time where I didn't touch it at all, and lots of other projects that have forced me to put it to one side, but I have been thinking about it in the background and a little while ago it started to bug me so much that I really didn't want to start another page until it was done. I'm quite pleased with the result, although I think the protracted, piece-meal design process showed in the finished project, so I redid some elements. Ah well, maybe I'll get the hang of speedy scrapping soon!

Well, here it is, I hope you like it!

What I used:
Papers: Tim Holtz "Destinations" (background), Dovecraft back to basics 8x8 paper, Basic Grey Archaic "Ancient" and "Earthworm" (spotty and lily pads), DCWV photo stack (wood paper), gold mirror card
Tools: Hot Diggity Dog "Treats" clear stamp set, See Ds "Whimsy" alphabet & number stamps, XCut flowers die set.
Colours: Whispers brush marker vintage green, Whispers permanent brush marker dark brown, Ancient Page archival ink "chocolate", brown pastel chalk, copper alcohol ink
Embellishments: K&Company K-Ology Grand Adhesions "Words", die cut chipboard sayings, Papermania clear dome stickers, Basic Grey Archaic dome brad, green mini tag.

Crafting notes:

  • In made a magnifying glass to highlight the small frog in the final photo:
    •  I used two small circle dies to cut a ring of gold mirror card, then toned the shininess down with alcohol ink. 
    • I made a handle template from a piece of folded paper (to ensure symmetry) and stuck it to the back of a scrap of wood print paper, which I aged with brown pastel chalk.
    • I finished off with a clear dome sticker
When Bob saw the page, he put his eye to the magnifying glass :-)
  • The journalling is written on lily pad shapes, linked together with leaping frogs
  • The title is laid out along the path of a jumpy frog (unlike the real frog, which just sat still all the time we watched!
  • I originally matched the title with the backing of the spotty paper. Then I had the idea of the lily pads and it wasn't the right colour for that, so I redid the title on the lily pad paper. Luckily I'd taped the letters down, not glued them, otherwise I would have had to hand colour them to match. Here it is halfway through the replacement to show the difference (at night sadly, so it's not a great picture):

Thursday, 2 July 2015

10 minute cake decorating - dino island

If Bob's involved, all cake making and decorating has to be quick, partly because he's impatient to see the end result and partly because it's a race to finish before the completed bits, how shall I put this, 'disappear' :-)

This morning I happened to mention Bob's pirate birthday cake and he asked if he could make another one, so we baked a victoria sponge and sprinkled chocolate chips over it before we put it in the oven, to give it a lumpy surface and because chocolate is good :-)
Looks a little like France

We baked the cake in a square tin and, once cooled, we chopped off little curved pieces to give a coastline and piled most of them (some 'disappeared' of course!) on top of the 'island'. The plan was to make a desert island, but our yellow and blue icing had gone hard, leaving us with only red and green, so we made a quick change to a volcano instead. I tried to make the red 'lava' into little eruption arches, but the weather here was so hot even in the morning that our butter had melted by 7am, so the arches quickly flopped. The heat did make it very easy to extrude the red icing into flows though - it was almost the consistency of lava anyway!

To finish the cake, we added some sprinkles (to be blobs of hot rock), some chocolate chip boulders, and a couple of Bob's dinosaurs.  Here it is, not the world's best volcano cake, but the decorating time was well within a 3 year old's attention span and, for an unplanned activity, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Look closely and you might spot that some of the chocolate
chip boulders have already disappeared into Bob's tummy :-)
Happy crafting